Heath climb to second

Wheatley Hills v Heath'Peter Birkett
Wheatley Hills v Heath'Peter Birkett

Heath won 38-20 at Wheatley Hills yesterday in the first league meeting between the sides since 2010, when the Doncaster side went up as Yorkshire One champions.

Hills were relegated from North One East last season, after failing to win a game, and have only won once this season, against North Ribblesdale on the opening day.

They battled hard against a workmanlike Heath side, who climbed to second when Moortown beat Scarborough.

Coach Dave Harrison brought in Cameron Ramsden and Dave Skinner for the injured Jason Bradbrook and Richard Brown. Si Brown started on the wing as Eddie Cartwright moved to full back to cover the unavailable Sam Pollard.

Olly Cook pulled out with flu yesterday and Martyn Barnes was unavailable so evergreen Paddy Kerr started at loose head prop.

Heath started slowly and Hills went over in the corner from a scrum 10 metres out and added the goal on three minutes.

The visitors were struggling to contain a strong Wheatley pack but gradually got into the game and Chris Moore, Alex McFadden and Jason Merrie all looked to have scored, only for the referee to bring play back each time for infringements.

Ezra Hinchliffe made it 7-3 with a penalty on 13 minutes and added another three points five minutes later after captain Ian Downsborough and Moore had gone close.

Hills made it 10-6 with a penalty but Callum Harriett-Brown charged down a clearance after the restart and Brown went close from Jack Crabtree’s clever kick. Crabtree, Hinchliffe and Ramsden then linked superbly to send Harriett-Brown in at the corner for an unconverted try and a 11-10 lead after 30 minutes.

Heath were now in full swing with Cartwright and Skinner making significant in-roads. It came as no surprise when Hinchliffe and Cartwright linked to send in Harriett-Brown for his second try. The conversion hit a post but Heath deserved their 16-10 advantage.

With the final play of the half the outstanding Peter Birkett combined with Crabtree and Ramsden went over for a converted try and a 23-10 half time lead.

Hills pulled back three points with a penalty but Heath broke from a scrum 15 metres out from their try-line with some good passing. Hills were penalised and Hinchliffe made it 26-13 with 20 minutes remaining.

Brown rounded off a superb move to score the bonus point try in the corner and Hinchliffe’s kick made it 33-13.

Hills went close on a couple of occasions before Heath turned defence into attack and Crabtree, Hinchliffe and Ramsden tore through the home side for Jason Merrie to romp over.

However, Hills brought some respectability to the score line with a late converted try after Heath had lost Ramsden and Merrie to the sin-bin.

Heath host York in a top of the table match next Saturday and then travel to Rishworthians for their final league game of 2017.